Goin’ West and California dreamin’

Published 11:22 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jim Outlaw might not be the biggest Alabama fan in the world. But then, he just might be.

But, for sure, he’s not the most persistent. Give that to his 11-year-old son Holman.

If it had not been for Holman’s stick-to-it-ness, they would be watching the 2010 National Championship game on television.

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When the Alabama-Texas match up was set Jim Outlaw thought that the Tide couldn’t roll in the Rose Bowl without their biggest fan in the stands.

For a while, it looked like it might not happen.

Outlaw and his sidekick, Danny “DZ” Zapata, had been hoping to get tickets to the 2010 BCS National Championship football game for about a month.

“We were waiting for the price of the tickets to go down,” Outlaw said.

“I wanted to go but people were asking $500 or more above the face value of the tickets. I knew the price would have to come down. So I waited and kept looking.”

Outlaw tried different avenues and had high hopes of getting tickets for him and his son, Holman, and his buddy DZ.

“What we wanted to do was go on Amtrak,” Outlaw said.

“It would take about 48 hours but the train ride wouldn’t be that bad and we’d get there in time to look around and get in on all the excitement.”

But the tickets didn’t come down and time was running out. Outlaw came to accept the disappointment of not being in the stands when the Alabama Crimson Tide faced the Texas Longhorns for the national championship.

“Tuesday, it looked like we wouldn’t be going,” Outlaw said.

“I told Holman that we couldn’t do it. The ticket prices were still too high and the airfare. But Holman stayed on the computer all day. He found us tickets at face value and found a good price on airline tickets. And, yeah, man. I’m excited. Because Holman kept trying after I’d give up, we’re going and the Tide’s gonna roll.”

And Jim Outlaw will “roll” a major bowling strike.

He has been to three of the four “granddaddy” bowls – the Cotton, the Sugar and the Orange Bowl.

But until the Crimson Tide defeated the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 5, Outlaw really had no reason or real desire to complete the foursome.

But that quickly changed. What could be better than being in the Rose Bowl, the “Granddaddy of them all,” when Alabama played for a national championship?

“We knew it would be expensive but we knew if there was any way to go, we would,” Zapata said.

“We’re on the way. We’re flying west and it’s going to be a long night from 5 p.m. Wednesday and until 7 o’clock Thursday morning. But we’ll be California dreamin’ all the way.”

Zapata said he’s not sure what the West Coast people will expect from Alabama fans.

“I started to wear my overalls and coonskin hat so they won’t be disappointed, “ he said, laughing.

“But Alabama fans will be first class and so will the team. The Tide’s gonna roll in the Rose Bowl.”